Smiling good. Also, eye contact

Researchers perpetually search for ways to break down human interactions into components, but even when their results are obvious,  they can be interesting. In a recent paper in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, researchers in Aberdeen, Scotland showed that people find other people who smile and look directly at them both more likable and more sexually attractive. Try the same experiment on the woman pictured right (from newscientist.com). Despite the subtlety of the variation – the aversion of the woman’s gaze – the photo on the left really does make her seem more likable.

In another goofy experiment, McGill University researchers had office workers spend 5 minutes every morning playing a computer game in which they had to find a photo of a smiling person  amongst a group of 15 frowny faces. Playing this game reduced the hormone cortisol, which causes  symptoms related to stress, by 17%. Why? There’s some flummery in the New Scientist article, but it seems the researchers don’t actually know.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: